Photographer of Iconic Windows XP Desktop Image Shoots Three New Smartphone Wallpapers

Bliss Microsoft XP Charles O'Rear

Left: YouTube / Right: Superuser

Anyone who has ever seen a computer running Windows XP knows the iconic image—lush, rolling green hills underneath a vibrant blue sky. The timeless desktop wallpaper, Bliss, is thought to be the most viewed photograph in the world, being seen by more than 1 billion people. And now, its photographer, Charles O'Rear, is back with a new set of images poised to grace the backgrounds of today's technology—our smartphones.

Back in 1996, O'Rear shot the famous photo on a medium format camera in Sonoma County, California on the way to meet his girlfriend, who is now his wife. A longtime National Geographic photographer, O'Rear was an early adopter of licensing and placed the image on Corbis, where it was then purchased by Microsoft.

The magnitude of that singular career event is not lost on O'Rear. “I am turning seventy-six and realize how much the Microsoft Bliss photograph has meant to my life,” he shares. “As the photographer of the most viewed photo in history, I have enjoyed every minute of the fame.”

O'Rear, in collaboration with Lufthansa, is back to make a mark on the screen we view every day. He's traveled to Arizona, Utah, and Colorado seeking the perfect image for their project New Angles of America. The results are his trademark landscape imagery, rich with color and perfectly balanced for harmonious viewing. You can download the three wallpapers, free of charge, on the New Angles of America website.

“You see your smartphone background hundreds of times day,” O'Rear says, “so that photo should really make you feel something. I want people who look at my photographs to think of this as a mental escape for them.”

As part of New Angles of America, Lufthansa is also offering a trip for two to California, complete with a 3-hour photo training session with Charles O'Rear. You have until December 18, 2017 to enter. For more details see the website.

Charles O'Rear—the photographer behind Microsoft XP's Bliss wallpaper—has created a new set of three free smartphone wallpapers that capture the stunning landscape of the United States.

free wallpapers smartphone

Peek-A-Boo Slot

free wallpapers smartphone

Maroon Bells

Charles O'Rear Free Smartphone Wallpapers

White Pocket

Learn more about the photographer's collaboration with Lufthansa.

h/t: [PetaPixel, BoredPanda]

All images via Charles O'Rear except where noted.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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